EURO 2008: 157 arrests after violence and racist chanting in Austria09 June 2008

Police arrested 157 people after violence flared before, during, and after Germany's Euro 2008 victory against Poland on Sunday, Uefa have confirmed.

Supporters clashed in the Austrian city of Klagenfurt although Uefa played down reports of injuries.

A spokesman for Uefa said: “Klagenfurt reported 157 arrests during the match, mainly Germany supporters who were arrested in the city centre but the police said the situation cleared rapidly, nobody was injured and no material damage occurred.”

Preparation
European football's governing body denied suggestions the local police were ill-prepared for the number of fans which descended on Klagenfurt.

The spokesman added: “We have gone through all kinds of scenarios with Swiss and Austrian police, with the help of European police forces around the continent.

“There is no specific plan for every match. We think the overall concept works well.

Sensitive
“Sensitive matches are dotted around the map of Austria and Switzerland, you can turn anything into a sensitive match if you think twice about it.

“We are not particularly worried about a single episode. We have a global concept we apply, match by match and city by city. It is well rehearsed and we hope also for every match it will work.”

A photographer from the Agence France Press witnessed an initial group of arrests being made when a group of approximately 60 men chanted racist, anti-Polish slogans including the phrase “all Poles should wear yellow stars” in reference to the rules enforced by the Nazi regime before and during World War II.

Attacks
Klagenfurt police released a statement saying: “About 140 risk fans were surrounded and arrested by police, following dangerous attacks, minor violations and suspicions of criminal actions.

“These measures were necessary to prevent these risk fans from carrying out further violations.

“Thanks to its information and timely intervention, the police was able to restore order in the fan zone and ensure the security of peaceful fans.”